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PSA welcomes publication of NHS long-term workforce plan

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) welcomes the publication of the NHS long-term workforce plan for England. Workforce pressures are a huge challenge to the quality and safety of care. Action is needed to make sure we have the workforce we need now and in the future, and regulation has an important part to play in this.

In our recent report Safer care for all, we recommended that professional regulators and Accredited Registers work collaboratively to identify opportunities to speed up workforce supply, equip practitioners to deal with future challenges in how care is delivered, close safety gaps and protect patients and service users. We are pleased to see that the plan supports the messages in our report.

Reforms to professional regulation are part of the picture and they should be rolled out as quickly as possible to give regulators greater agility, whilst balancing the drive for efficiency with the need to protect the public.

As the unregulated workforce is an increasingly important part of the health service, there is also a key role for Accredited Registers to play in providing assurance that practitioners are competent.

Alan Clamp, Chief Executive said,

'We are pleased to see the NHS workforce plan published. We’ll be examining the plan in detail and working with regulators, Accredited Registers, Government and NHS colleagues on next steps. Alongside the drive to increase numbers and improve retention, the NHS and Government will need to think about how to maintain patient safety and ensure coherence across the UK.

 'To support this, the four UK Governments should develop a strategy for the regulation of people to sit alongside national workforce plans. This would help decide on appropriate regulatory controls for new or evolving roles while supporting flexibility and efficiency.'


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  5. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  6. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  7. In our report Safer care for all – solutions from professional regulation and beyond published in September 2022, to help address the workforce crisis we recommended that: ‘The four UK Governments work together to develop a coherent strategy for the regulation of people, to support delivery of their national health and social care workforce strategies.’
  8. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at